'The K3 Magnette must rank in the history books as the most famous and successful of all the record breaking MGs. With only 33 examples produced during 1933 and 1934 this car alone gave an incredible boost to the marque and established MG firmly in the forefront of the world motor racing and record breaking league.' - Richard Monk, The MG Collection.
The K series of Magnette sports cars was announced at the London Motor Show in 1932, the racing K3 being based on the short-wheelbase chassis of the two-seater K2 roadster. The Ks used an overhead-camshaft six-cylinder engine similar to that of the existing Magna series, but downsized to 1,087cc to gain entry into racing's 1,100cc Class G, success in which was considered vital by MG boss Cecil Kimber. For the K series, MG's long-stroke 'six' received a cross-flow cylinder head and in the K3's case induction was by means of a Power Plus supercharger driven off the crankshaft nose and fed by a single SU carburettor. Power - up to 120bhp could be obtained depending on the state of tune - was transferred to the road wheels via an ENV Wilson pre-selector gearbox.
During the winter of 1932/33, two K3 prototypes were tested - one on the Monte Carlo Rally and the other in Italy in preparation for the forthcoming Mille Miglia. One of the toughest challenges in motor sport, the latter had been dominated by Italian makes and a home victory in the '33 event was considered a foregone conclusion. Un-fancied MG entered a team of three K3s driven by Early Howe/Hugh Hamilton, George Eyston/Count Lurani and Henry Birkin/Bernard Rubin, confounding the pundits with an astonishing 1st and 2nd finish in their class as well as the team prize. This magnificent victory vindicated Kimber's decision to build the K3, which remained at the very top of its class in international motor racing for the next few years and today is one of the most sought after of all MGs.
Originally a KN Magnette, 'MG 4119' was first registered in 1934 by University Motors, Chelsea and used as their demonstrator. Believed cut down and supercharged in 1947, it has carried a body thought to have been taken off 'K3020' (which is available to collect with the owner) and has been raced and hill climbed. The MG was purchased by the current vendor around 25 years ago, having previously been owned by Peter Green before he purchased 'K3011'.
Treated to a 'ground upwards' restoration in 2013 (bills available), 'KN0261' carries a beautiful and stunning Miglia Mille slab-tank body, with C-type scuttle top and dashboard, Miglia Mille internal exhaust, with the important K3 features. The car is finished in red with matching leather interior, the paintwork being described as excellent with a lovely patina. Newly rebuilt, the fast spec, supercharged engine incorporates a new 1,100cc K-series block, N-type cylinder head, and coil ignition, and drives via a large pre-selector gearbox.
Offered with VSCC buff form, 'KN0261' represents a wonderful opportunity to own a convincing and well specified evocation of the famous K3 Magnette racer, which has spent the majority of its life in its current form.